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Comment: Re:Privelege (Score 1) 482 482

If this is real, definitely teacher fail ("without resistance", ouch). However, it is quite appropriate for schools to require a measure of respect for teachers and other students, and require students to voice their dissent respectfully, so I say student fail on this one as well. If the kid had pointed relevant unit conversions in the textbook instead of accusing the teacher of lying, this letter might not exist.

Comment: Wrong Question (Score 2) 642 642

There's no question that companies like Microsoft borrow good ideas from F/OSS, and often improve upon them. This is not a bad thing in and of itself: borrowing good ideas is a central tenant of F/OSS. The important question is, how much of the improved idea does Microsoft let F/OSS borrow back? For example, will the Gnome project get sued if they incorporated elements of Windows 8's file copy dialog into Nautilus?

Comment: IPv6? (Score 1) 223 223

If you know enough about how the Internet to understand dynamic DNS updates work, you can figure out IPv6, too. Dynamic DNS sites are low traffic, so it's not a particularly onerous task to distribute a hosts file, or maintain a private DNS server. If you have to access the server from an IPv4-only network that you don't control, use NAT-traversal technologies like AYIYA.

Comment: Sauron didn't create the palantiri (Score 2) 276 276

Those of you who are making the connection with Sauron would do well to remember that the Seeing Stones had many good and important uses before one fell into Sauron's hands. The Stones themselves were not evil. For the real-life analog, see http://www.palantirtech.com/government/analysis-blog/haiti

Anyway, not a fan of increased government surveillance, but calling "Big Brother" because the government is working to share data more effectively strikes me as equivalent to assuming that every person using Bittorrent is a pirate, or every person who refuses the full-body scan at the airport is a terrorist.

Comment: Impressive amount of spin (Score 1) 1036 1036

I see nothing that indicates these benefits apply solely to same-sex domestic partnerships. Heterosexuals in a domestic partnership appear to be covered as well. If not, I think there's a large number of heterosexuals in domestic partnerships that would cry "foul", and with good cause--equality isn't a synonym for preferential treatment.

This is good for an entirely different reason, though. If this trend continues, the financial incentives for state-sanctioned marriage are reduced, which makes people less likely to be concerned with obtaining that marriage certificate. Maybe, given time, the idea that the state has any business being involved in such an intensely personal issue will fade away, and a person's marital status won't affect their tax status at all.

This has the nifty side-effect of making the gay marriage question absolutely irrelevant, which would be a huge relief. I see that issue being used quite indiscriminately as a political lever by both sides, and frankly it disgusts me.

Comment: A great leap forward for gender relations. (Score 4, Funny) 110 110

I'm sure designer clothes will inspire the males in the male-dominated atmosphere to take great pains to put the female at ease. Because really what keeps us male astronauts from treating you female astronauts with the dignity and respect that you _deserve_ is simply that you dress like hobos.

PS: not actually an astronaut.

Comment: Society has already voted on this one (Score 1) 981 981

Genetic manipulation is the logical continuation of the school of thought that brought you Ritalin, Prozac, and the host of other psychiatric medications.

It's probably not a bad idea to rehash the arguments for and against such things, but the precedent has been set.

Comment: Re:Silly (Score 1) 605 605

Clear the sloppy attempts at redacting were a ruse--the real intention was to identify persons capable of noticing and publishing this information, or commenting on it. I'm sure all you people poking holes in the TSA security theatre are already on the Watch List and will get extra-strict screening next time you fly.

Comment: Re:Why do I care where the bugs are? (Score 1) 815 815

I personally find the networking aspects of Pulse to be quite handy. I have mpd running on my file server, streaming to a PulseAudio server on my media center (Ubuntu Jaunty). I also have it stream to my desktop.

Using the nifty iPhone app MPod, I can control my playlist from the palm of my hand, in a fashion that beats a universal remote all hollow, since I can actually see the playlist I'm queuing, instead of having to squint at the screen (yes, I have a small display, don't laugh) or get in position to view the screen. And there's nothing like being able to switch tracks while you're on the can (there's a joke in there somewhere, but I can't quite find it).

I hope to one day figure out some sort of motion sensing or proximity detection mechanism to selectively enable/disable mpd outputs so that I can be listening to music on my sound system, and when I leave the room and into my office I can pick up my headphones, and the same playlist will be playing there automatically. Sort of like motion controlled lights, except it's sound.

I'd also really like to see is some kind of mashup between vlc's remote control app and Moovida and this MPod app, so I could have a centralized media center with a truly universal remote control. Apps work on the iPod Touch too...

Comment: Re:other countries too (Score 1) 230 230

When you have opposing views sharing power, stupid ideas get blocked indefinitely so the sort of situation in the above two articles would never happen, neither would censorship.

When you have opposing views sharing power, you get deadlock. In my experience, most sides in most conflicts have very valid reasons for taking the position they do. Note that I'm talking about genuine conflicts of interests here, not some miscommunication. In such situations, there is no resolution until somebody is more forceful than the other side(s).

Shitty, but that who ever said life was going to be fair?

Comment: Re:Congratulations, I guess (Score 1) 576 576

Constitutional documents are indeed powerful symbols used to unify groups of people and control their behaviour. To my mind, such symbols are used to acquire power and influence, not create respect for one's fellow man.

If you are suggesting that apologies and reparations to dead people are motivated by a desire to acquire or retain power and influence, then I can whole-heartedly agree.

I want to avoid casting governance and politics in an excessively negative light (they seem quite necessary for social stability), but I do believe such concepts are separate and distinct from ethics, which is the word I ought to have used in my first post in place of "Genuine progress and enlightenment".

I believe (and this is how I interpreted bigstrat2003's original post) that the reparations and apologies to the dead accomplish nothing of *ethical* importance. They quite obviously accomplish things of *political* importance.

We were so poor that we thought new clothes meant someone had died.

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